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Navigating Hardwood Flooring Purchase: Essential Buying Tips

Posted on June 17, 2023


Mastering the Art of Buying Hardwood Flooring: Top Tips and Considerations

Investing in hardwood flooring is a significant decision that can dramatically transform your home’s aesthetics, enhance its value, and create a healthier living environment. With numerous options available, how do you choose the perfect one? Here are some helpful tips to consider when buying hardwood flooring:

1. Understanding Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is crafted from durable, dense woods like oak, walnut, or maple that can withstand wear and tear over time. It offers unparalleled elegance, warmth, and character to any space. However, the vast range of choices can be overwhelming, making it crucial to understand what to look for.

2. Determine your budget.

Budgeting is the first step in your hardwood flooring journey. The cost can vary significantly depending on the type of wood, the quality, and the brand. Determine how much you’re willing to spend before diving into the world of hardwood flooring to streamline your options and make your selection process easier.

3. Choosing the Right Type of Wood

Solid or Engineered Hardwood

You’ll need to decide between solid and engineered hardwood. Solid hardwood is exactly what it sounds like—a solid piece of wood, while engineered hardwood is composed of a top layer of real hardwood and multiple layers of plywood beneath.

While solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished several times, engineered hardwood is more resistant to moisture and heat, making it a better option for kitchens or basements.

Wood Species

Different wood species offer different hardness, grain patterns, and colors. For example, oak, maple, and hickory are harder and more resistant to dents, while pine, cherry, or walnut may be softer but offer unique grain patterns and rich colors.

4. Selecting the Perfect Color and Finish


The color of the wood can dramatically change the feel of your room. Lighter woods like ash or maple can make a room feel larger and more casual, while darker woods like walnut or mahogany add a touch of elegance and formality.


The finish protects the wood from wear, moisture, and stains. You can choose between site-finished floors, which are sanded and finished in your home, or prefinished floors, which come already sanded and sealed. Prefinished floors tend to have a more durable finish and quicker installation.

5. Consider the plank width.

The plank width can also impact the room’s look. While narrow strips make a room appear larger, wide planks create a rustic look. Choose the plank width based on the size of your room and the style you’re aiming for.

6. Assess the room conditions.

Consider the conditions of the room where the flooring will be installed. If the room is prone to moisture, such as a basement or bathroom, you might want to consider engineered wood or a wood species that handles humidity well.

7. Always order extra.

Order an extra 10% of flooring to cover any mistakes, bad pieces, or future repairs. It’s always better to have a little too much than not enough.

8. Choose the Right Retailer

Buy your flooring from a reputable retailer who can answer your questions, offer advice, and provide a good warranty. Research different retailers, read reviews, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.


Buying hardwood flooring is a big decision and a substantial investment. Considering your budget, understanding the different types of wood and finishes, considering the room conditions, and choosing the right retailer will help ensure that you’re happy with your purchase for years to come. Happy flooring shopping!

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